In the Bayou of New Orleans, there are two urban legends that the citizens of New Orleans grow up on. One is that there’s a swamp monster hidden within the swamp. The other, is of a Voodoo Priestess whose spirit is seen on the edge of the swamp cackling, which people can hear when passing by her on boat. There is some speculation that Julia Brown cursed the town for taking her magic for granted. Those who practice voodoo magic spin a different tale about a woman who tried to save a town from disaster.
Manchac, Louisiana is a small town with limited resources harvesting cabbage and cabin logs to sell to the neighboring towns. Julia Brown was the town’s healer, doctor, and midwife. Julia used her knowledge of herbs and medicine to cure the sick and elderly. Some believed that Julia was a practice of magic leading to her patients recovering faster then those who traveled to New Orleans to see the practicing doctor.
Due to greed, her magic was no longer for the sick but rather curses for those that were in hearing range. To combat this, she begins coming up with horrible predictions of town people’s demise. On September 29, 1915, Julia Brown passed away on the same day a hurricane passed through Louisiana, destroying three towns and killing over three-hundred people.
She was blamed for the hurricane, but some still think she may have been warning the town of the natural disaster and was casting a protection spell on the town before her passing. Today, the Island of Fenier is a mass grave for those lost to the natural disaster. It’s still common for skeletons to surface in the swamp before heading downstream.
The legend consists of an image of an old woman sitting on her front porch singing, made up songs while strumming along on a guitar. It seems remnant of Southern hospitality. A closer Look at the painting, you see a Voodoo Priestess known for cursing the town by singing
The townsfolk are weary of the versus from her song,“One day I’m gonna die and I’m goona take all of yawith me,” This eerily image belongs to Julia Brown, the local haunt of the Manchac wetlands that lay a half mile from New Orleans. These swamps contain the souls of Ms. Brown and those who perished from the town of Frenier that was demolished by a hurricane people claim Julia summoned.
What is Voodoo?
People go to New Orleans searching for which doctors, dolls that can have curses or love potions placed upon, or a priestess that could summon shadow spirits to make a soul deal with. These stereotypes are associated with those who practice the craft known as Voodoo. Voodoo originated in Africa before its partiers came to the United States as slaves.
Today, New Orleans is a focus point in the United States for those who practice and follow the religion. There is one powerful entity referred to as God that is unreachable by its human followers. To reach him, hundreds or thousands of spirits or Loo must be used. Loo are placed in a hierarchy with major Loos having their own holidays and celebrations. Minor Loos have roles in other religions or represent a family in the community.
Followers are required to attend to the Loo daily basics. To complete the task animal sacrifice is used in rituals to thank the spirits for protection, blessings and good fortune. Followers must also set themselves in a proper lifestyle set by the Voodoo religion. Those who follow the path to Voodoo must be open to the concept of possession. The medium or host soul that summons Lou is push aside to allow the Loo to take control of their body. During this transaction the host is immune to pain and injuries.
While in control the Loo will announce instructions, advice or prophecies to its followers of events that are yet to come. They will also use the medium to reprimand followers that have upset or displeased the Loo. This act is seen as a blessing given to a few followers of Voodoo a state that is mainly offer to the priests and priestess. There is no clear answer if Julia Brown was cursing her fellow townsfolk or was acting as a vessel for the Loo warning them of the storm that would wipe their town from existence.
Voodoo, like all forms of magic, has its own rules and laws that only the followers seem to understand. To an outsider these acts of worship may seem odd or even demonic in nature. To this day many people take boat rides out to the swamps of Manchac hoping to gain a curse or two from old Julia Brown herself.
Now, Shush, I’m trying to read, Luna